Junta Plans to Tighten Controls on Monks
Burma’s ruling military junta and the government-backed state monks committee plan to introduce new rules that will further restrict the activities of monks in the country, according to reports in the state-run media.
The official Burmese-language newspaper Myanma Ahlin reported on Saturday that Ashin Kumara, the chairman of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, said he planned to call a meeting of all senior abbots to discuss the new regulations, which he said were aimed at improving monastic discipline.The move would help to “safeguard Buddhism,” which had been weakened by attacks on the state monks committee by critics at home and abroad, the senior monk added.
Since the monk-led mass demonstrations of September 2007, monks throughout the country have come under intense scrutiny from the authorities. Observers said it was unusual for the state monks committee to call a nationwide meeting of all the major sects of Theravada Buddhism in the country, and suggested that it could signal a further crackdown on activities deemed political. Continue reading “Ashin Kumara, the chairman of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka call a meeting of all senior abbots to discuss monastic discipline.”